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U.S. & Europe: Transatlantic relationships (TNS 6/9-7/1)


German Marshall Fund / Compagnia di San Paolo / TNS
6/9-7/1/09; 1,000 adults/country, 3% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews and face-to-face interviews
(Transatlantic Trends: release, toplines)

Transatlantic trends:

European support for U.S. President Barack Obama's handling of foreign policy is quadruple the approval given to his predecessor, George W. Bush, according to a new survey released today by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). But people in Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey were markedly less enthusiastic about Obama and the United States than were their West European counterparts. And Obama's personal popularity has not bridged serious transatlantic differences over Afghanistan, Iran, and climate change.

Transatlantic Trends 2009 (www.transatlantictrends.org) shows that three-in-four (77%) respondents in the European Union and Turkey support President Obama's handling of international affairs compared to just one-in-five (19%) who approved of President Bush's foreign policy in 2008.

"We see a remarkable shift in transatlantic opinion from the previous administration," said Craig Kennedy, GMF president. "With American leadership enjoying unprecedented modern popularity, partners on both sides of the Atlantic have an immense opportunity to cooperate on a range of economic and security issues."

 

Comments
Andy (AKA: The Yangban):

So this article basically tells that Europeans love us now and want to cooperate with us.... except when they disagree. That's nice.

BTW, I am mostly a lurker but have noticed that things have gotten a bit more heated here over the past few weeks. I think an attempt to have a comment section without random insults of the other side and each other ("bag of lies" et al) would be great.

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bigreed:

It's hard to argue that the perception that we again have noble intent is a bad thing.

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Stillow:

How about polling how Americans view Europe....Europe is strugglign to maintain relevance on the world stage....with a more liberal president it makes sense they would support him more....a more liberal president embraces much of the European style socilaist views.

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Stephen_W:

Stillow, if you're trying to argue that it's better for us to handle foreign affairs by pissing off our European counterparts, you really are crazy. It's people like you who have some weird black and white view of world politics that makes others hate us so much. As for world relevance, the European Union has as much relevance to the world economy as the US and China do, so I'm really not understanding your point. I know your Fox News bullet points don't allow you to view Europe in any other light than some socialistic monstrosity, but maybe you should travel more.

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Stillow:

You sure love picking a fight with me every day....my post was harmless, it makes perfect sense Europeans would support a liberal president....Obama is much closer to their socilaist ways than someone like Bush was.

The irony is they owe there very existance to us. During the 20th century western europe became heavily dependent on the american military for there preservation. With one hand they slap us, with the other they embrace us.

No matter who our president is, the next time a bully shows up, Hitler, communism, whatever the next one is, they will come running back to America to save them. Europe is actually like a spoiled child....they talk back to you until they need you for soemthing.

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Wong:


When anyone here chooses to carelessy repeat an obvious falsehood from Republican talking points I won't hesitate to call it what it is and welcome any proof otherwise.

Civility is a necessary ingredient for effective public discourse and my intent is always to strive in that direction but not so much as to sacrifice necessary points of persuasion. Hence, "bag o'lies"

I believe we are all big boys here... If not, perhaps the children should leave the room

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John:

Do you seriously believe that, Stillow?

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Stillow:

@John
Which part? I re read my last statement, which fact are you stunned by? Did you want to refute they owe there existance to us? If not for us Hitler would have defeated and captures all of Europe and would have continued his ethnic purge. Or the fact the only reason the soviets didn't take more of europe was because the US would not have allowed them to do so....or the fact that western europe became hheavily dependent on our military for protection in the 20th century?

And when the newest bully arrives whoever it may be, you don't think France will once again need us to help them out?

Please explain....

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Stephen_W:

So let me get this straight. We helped Europe get rid of Hitler, so in turn we get to bully them instead? What about Russia? They sacrificed far more in terms of lives lost in WWII, does Europe still have a massive IOU they need to deliver to the Russians? And France helped us out during our war for independence, as well as giving us the Statue of Liberty. What do we owe them? This is stupid cowboy talk and it's the reason Europeans resented us so much during the Bush era. I'm glad most Americans are ready to turn the page and start working with our allies again. And yes Stillow, that means Europe.

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Stillow:

Ummm, Russia was forced in WW2 because Hitler broke the treaty with them....you can find that in nearly every history book. Geee stephen, i went back thru and didn't see where I said we can bully them....I simply pointed out its common for Europe not to like America that much unless a european style liberal is in power here. But when times get tough, they come running back to us to save them.

Post WW2 Europe could not defend itself, it relied on us for its protection. If not for American anti communist expansion ppolicy, the Soviets would have picked off western europe one by one. The frogs forgot how to fight for themselves a long time ago. Everyone always focuses on what europe thinks of us, what about what we think of europe...outside of the liberal crazies here, Europe is not all that popular with americans and for good reason.

We are the last remaining super power, so it seems to me we are doing soemthing right and europe soemthing wrong. France and others for all their anti american military talk comes a running when they need us..............

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Aaron_in_TX:

Stillow,

I don't know where you get your facts, but they don't come from any legitimate history book I'm aware of.

And just because you don't like Europe, doesn't mean Americans don't like it:

"Europe is not all that popular with americans and for good reason. "

I guess that's why the USA is their #1 source of tourist revenue.

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Aaron_in_TX:

Also, the EU as a whole has the highest GDP in the world, a little higher than the USA. So they must be doing something right.

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John:

A number of points:

Firstly the US entered the war when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour, if Japan hadn't attacked, then it is unclear when (or even if) the US would have joined the war.

Secondly Hitler had captured or had control through his allies of almost all of contential Europe before the USA even entered the war. Britain by that point was relatively safe with the RAF and the Royal Navy prepared.

Thirdly while its reasonable to argue without all the major allies, Germany would have won, the turning point in the war against Germany was Stalingrad. This victory was reinforced by Kursk, Germany's last opportunity to re-take the initiave. No doubt both direct help in terms of supplies, and indirect help in terms of forcing the Germans to split their forces, helped the soviets win these victories but they were soviet victories.

Not that any of these take away from the contribution and sacrifice of the US troops or the fact that without the supplies from the USA, Britain and quite probably the SU couldn't have mantained the fight even before the USA formerly entered, but it was a combined effort.

The Soviet take-over over East Europe covers none of the allies with particular amount of glory, although churchill did try and persuade FDR about the threat of Stalin towards the end of the war, understandably the allies were more concerned about beating Hitler and leaving no weakness for him to exploit.

Of course, as Stephen points out, if not for France, the Continentals may well have lost the War of Independence. So Stillow, does the US of A owe their existance to those 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys'? ;)


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Bigmike:

Thanks to all for the history lessons. I'm not sure how that all ties into this article.

I do agree that Europeans are on average somewhere left of American, and it is only natural that they would favor a left leaning American Pres over one that is on the right.

Notice they disagree most on Afghanistan, Iran, and climate change. Do they all read the Kos?

This is just part of the lib blitz we are beginning to see in preparation for Copenhagen.

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Andy (AKA: The Yangban):

Back to the original point, being liked is nice but countries, even those in Euroland, tend to go where their interest are. Thus we have the Europeans getting happy feet in Afghanistan despire all their love for us these days.

To the side point, you got it reversed Wong. Name calling is generally the province of children. I was not singling you out (hence the "et al") so don't take it so personally. BTW, it is not just me; the owners even have the word "civil" listed on their post button.

As an aside, I looked over at the CIA World Factbook and discovered that there are indeed several European countries with a per capita GDP higher than America's: Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway and Jersey (a dependency of the UK). Of course, those are PPP numbers and living expeneses are a little lower in the US. If we used nominal per capita GDP I am pretty sure that countries like Switzerland and Austria would move ahead of the US.

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John:

"Thanks to all for the history lessons. I'm not sure how that all ties into this article."

Sorry, you are right got slightly carried away.

Yes, a left-leaning president is more likely to get higher 'support' than a right-leaning president but to be honest any new president and adminstration was certain to get much higher ratings than Bush. Constructive critism of an ally is one thing but to gratuitously insult them with comments about 'Old Europe' is pointless.

I would probably agree with you over Afganistan, much of Europe is shirking their responsibilities there although views in europe are split. Much the same with Iran, opinion is split in Europe much as it is in the US, unsuprising given the lack of good options.

There is a relative large difference between Europe and the US over climate change but i'm not so sure it's a 'lib blitz' in Europe with both the left and the right here backing new climate change commitments.

'Do they all read the Kos?', lol it may disappoint both sides but most Europeons think of cossack as the rather savage and often cruel fighters of the Ukraine, having never heard of the daily kos.


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Bigmike:

How come no one is asking how we Americans feel about the Peoples Republic of France? Are they afraid of the answers they might get? Like we consider most of Europe irrelevent.

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Bigmike:

Sorry I wasn't more clear. The pre-Copenhagen blitz will be west of the Atlantic. The closer we get to the big event the worse it will be.

Don't you expect there will be a new climate "tipping point" on the horizon by Halloween?

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John:

Got you now, but if the history lesson was out of place then lets not get into a climate change discussion at least not on this thread.

But you are right there will almost certainly be a pre-Copenhagen climate change 'debate' on the airwaves and the media in which accurate facts or figures will be few and far between from both sides. It may even be worse than normal given the role probability plays in the climate change models (on both sides) and how bad the media normally are at explaining probability.

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